Carson City:

Wednesday May 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

We drive all day, and park up at a gas station to rest. Then we drive all night and most of the next day. In the afternoon we reach Carson City, crossing the city limits with the rest of the rush-hour traffic. The sun has dimmed, and the day is draped in muggy shadow. We check in to a motel in an anonymous district. A block west the freeway thunders across an overpass and to the east an abandoned lot, overrun with nettles and weeds.
     Denis sleeps. Kicking off his shoes he lies face down on the mattress, an arm hanging down to the floor where his fingers lightly clasp the grip of his revolver.
     I walk out onto the balcony and into the hum of the traffic moving along the overpass. You are never far away from a freeway. I make some phone calls. I call New York, and get no answer. I phone LA and the phone is answered by a Latino voice, that doesn’t know any English. I presume this is the help. I ring off. Finally I call Miranda.
     – Hello? She sounds groggy.
     – It’s me. As I wait for her to come around I find myself grinding my teeth. It is a habit I seem to have picked up. While she is speaking I take a cigarette from the pack in my breast pocket, snapping open the lighter with one hand.
     – Do you know what time it is here? It’s, like, five pm or something, she says.
     – It’s the same here.
     – Where are you?
     – You know I’m not going to answer that.
     I inhale deeply and there is a pause.
     – You’re gonna be here soon then?
     – Uh huh.
     Somewhere below voices echo along one of the walkways but I can’t see where.
     – Don’t be long, she says, more in hope than expectation.
     – Tomorrow. Or the next day.
     – The dog learned a new trick. You want to hear it?
     – Sure.
     There is a momentary shuffle as the handset is set down on a surface, and then picked up again. The dog barks.
     – He’s not doing it now.
     – We can’t bring the dog with us.
     – My mother is going to have him.
     – Good.
     – I said that.
     I hang up. A light breeze washes over me. Several lights have come on in the apartment block opposite, white against the grey. I walk down the two flights of stairs to the street and then over a block to a Seven-Eleven. Denis is watching television when I return. He is hungry. We eat in silence in front of the television.

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